We are proud to have leading autism campaigner, Anna Kennedy (OBE) as our Autism Ambassador.
Anna’s two sons, Patrick, 27 and Angelo, 24, were both diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders as young children. The severity of their conditions meant that they were turned away from local mainstream schools, as they couldn’t cater for their individual needs. Both boys were finally offered just five hours of home tuition per week.
Anna decided something had to be done for her boys, and with the help of her husband , she took on the challenge of setting up a school . They relentlessly fundraised and re-mortgaged their home to raise funds, and in 1999 Hillingdon Manor School finally opened its doors. Starting out with 19 pupils the school now teaches 175, and is the largest school of its kind for children on the autism spectrum.
Anna has since set up another specialist school and respite home for adults as well as an autism awareness charity. In recognition of her work Anna was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2012 for her services to special needs education and autism
Her charity, Anna Kennedy Online, provides support and advice about autism-related issues to thousands of parents and carers and promotes inclusion and equality for those with the condition. She provides various training and also runs numerous fundraising and awareness events throughout the year.
Anna’s values and wealth of experience adds real value to the services that Options provide.
I’m really excited about my Ambassador role with Options and to continue to do what I have been doing for years, which is raising awareness and ensuring that people with autism are accepted for who they are. It’s so important that all of us who are involved with and affected by autism should continue to fight hard and make our voices heard in improving educational and other resources for individuals, their families and carers.
You can keep in touch with Anna via her Facebook and Twitter pages: